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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS

PARLIAMENTARY QUESTIONS FROM PS2 THE LEADING U.K. GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS COMPANY
Contact: ps2@btinternet.com

DEFENCE
Afghanistan/Iraq

Mr. Jenkin: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will list (a) the number and (b) the value of Urgent Operational Requirements for Operation Fingal and for Operation Telic 1, showing (i) in which financial year the costs of UORs fall, (ii) how much has been funded from reserves, and (iii) how much has been or will eventually be funded from within the Ministry of Defence’s existing budgets instead of from a permanent transfer from the contingency reserve. [137723]

Mr. Ingram: Information on Urgent Operational Requirements (UORs) for Operation Fingal is not held separately from those for overall operations in Afghanistan under Operation Veritas. A total of 113 UORs were agreed for these operations at an approved cost of £155 million, split between financial years 2001-02 and 2002-03. UORs for these operations were funded from the Reserve, under a special arrangement agreed with the Treasury.

Over 190 UOR measures were agreed for Operation Telic 1, at an approved cost of some £510 million falling in financial years 2002-03 and 2003-04. All these UORs are again funded from the Reserve, as agreed with the Treasury, as part of the overall additional costs of Operation Telic. A number of Operation Telic UORs have brought forward planned expenditure already contained within the forward equipment programme. Where that provision is no longer needed, we expect to reimburse the Treasury for an appropriate amount. A precise figure has yet to be established, but the key point is that the defence budget is neither penalised nor gains windfall benefits as a result of pulling forward expenditure in this way.

Where equipment bought through the UOR process is retained after an operation has completed, appropriate provision needs to be made for downstream support costs. Such decisions on whether or not to keep UORs in service are considered in the normal Departmental planning round alongside other potential equipment enhancements.

Cluster Munitions

Norman Lamb: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what assessment he has made of the success of measures taken to avoid using cluster munitions near civilian areas in Iraq. [135854]

Mr. Ingram: We made every effort to minimise the impact on the Iraqi population of the coalition’s military action. Cluster munitions were employed against Iraqi armoured formations in the open and on the periphery of built up areas.

Defence Export Services

Mr. Gardiner: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what representations have been made to him from (a) other governments and (b) foreign non-governmental organisations on the Defence Services export international arms fair held in London. [138567]

Mr. Ingram: The Ministry of Defence has received letters and comments of thanks from many of the official overseas defence delegations that attended the Defence Systems and Equipment International exhibition.

I am unaware of any representations from foreign non-governmental organisations.

Depleted Uranium

Mr. Hancock: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what research he has (a) initiated and (b) evaluated on the effects of depleted uranium on British (i) service personnel and (ii) civilians; and if he will make a statement. [138794]

Mr. Caplin: We are currently initiating research to provide an understanding of the extent of any depleted uranium intake by United Kingdom ground forces during Operation TELIC.

In accordance with the Biological Monitoring Policy for DU on Operations all regular and reservist service personnel and attached civilians who deployed on Operation TELIC are entitled to a urine test on their return if they wish. To provide a baseline for comparison we have asked the Institute of Occupation Medicine in Edinburgh to carry out a study to establish normative values for uranium and its i

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